Mary Cassatt, who settled in Paris in 1874, was the only American to be invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists. She met Edgar Degas in 1877, and although she was not officially his student, his art had a lasting effect on the development of her own. His influence may be felt in the radical angles and eccentric composition of Mother and Child, a painting that also employs the mirror motif often found in the art of Edouard Manet, whose work Cassatt also admired. Her appreciation of Japanese prints is manifested here, as well, in the flattened shapes of the two figures. All of these stylistic elements associated Cassatt's work with the most progressive developments in the art world, whereas her subject matter located her imagery within a familiar domestic milieu. She first addressed the maternal theme in the early 1880s, returning to it frequently throughout her career.
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Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926). Woman in a Red Bodice and Her Child, ca. 1901. Oil on canvas, 27 x 20 1/4 in. (68.6 x 51.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 19.95
Carll H. de Silver Fund
27 x 20 1/4 in. (68.6 x 51.4 cm); Frame: 35 7/16 x 28 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (90 x 73.3 x 8.9 cm)